Home / News / Eric Beiniemy expected to join UCLA as associate head coach and offensive coordinator, AP sources say – Chicago Tribune

Eric Beiniemy expected to join UCLA as associate head coach and offensive coordinator, AP sources say – Chicago Tribune


Written by JOE REEDY and ROB MAADDI (AP Sports Writers)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Bieniemy is on the verge of returning home for his next gig.

The former Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Commanders offensive coordinator is expected to become UCLA’s associate head coach and offensive coordinator, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the contract are still being worked out.

Bieniemy is the first major hire for new UCLA coach DeShaun Foster, who was hired on Feb. 12 after Chip Kelly left Westwood to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator.

Bieniemy, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Kansas City Chiefs, spent last season in Washington. He was not retained by new Commanders coach Dan Quinn, who replaced Ron Rivera.

Foster has no head coaching or coordinator experience, so hiring Bieniemy will give the Bruins a veteran voice as they enter the Big Ten in 2024 and try to retain or add players through the transfer portal.

Despite his success in Kansas City, Bieniemy was unable to land a head coaching job despite interviewing with more than half of the NFL teams.

Bieniemy chose to return to UCLA for 2024 as he only had offers to be running backs coach and passing game coordinator, where he spent three seasons as an assistant from 2003-05 in various roles.

Bieniemy spent 10 seasons with the Chiefs under Andy Reid and played a key role in developing Patrick Mahomes into one of the NFL’s best players. Mahomes led the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl championship in five years and won the MVP award for the third time.

Reid brought in Bieniemy to talk offense before the Chiefs beat Baltimore in the AFC championship game.

“It’s always great to have EB in the building,” Mahomes said. “Just being there, you can feel the energy he brings, the mentality he brings, because he’s got that intensity, but he loves it. He loves being there, he loves being a part of the team, he loves being a part of that culture. It was really great to have him back in the building, listening to him talk, his energy. “I think there was a chill in the guys, like, ‘Hey, EB is back.’ Obviously he didn’t get the head coaching opportunity, but I’m excited for him to continue coaching football and continue to make an impact on the game.”

Bieniemy went to Washington to escape Reid’s shadow and take full control of play-calling duties. He had mixed results for a 4-13 team that was generally devoid of talent. The Commanders had the league’s 24th ranked offense behind quarterback Sam Howell.

“His coaching future is great. Obviously, I’m a big fan of his and I know what he can do,” Reid said of Bieniemy before the Super Bowl.

Bieniemy attended high school at Bishop Amat in La Puente, located 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in Southern California.

This is Bieniemy’s first college job since 2012, when he was the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Colorado.

Bieniemy’s second college coaching job was at UCLA. He coached running backs for three seasons and was also the Bruins’ recruiting coordinator in 2005.

Foster, an assistant with the Bruins for the past seven years, left last month to become the running backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders but returned to his alma mater following Kelly’s departure.

Kelly had a 35-34 record with the Bruins, but the program was showing signs of stagnation before moving to the Big Ten.


Maaddi reported from Tampa, Florida.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football


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